Our own JMDodd hired by Automattic (plus, meet our new dev!)

Me and Jennifer on the Offbeat Empire's Geek Girl Con panel in 2011.
Me and Jennifer on the Offbeat Empire's Geek Girl Con panel in 2011.
It is with a heavy heart but extreme excitement that I share this staff gossip today: my developer of over a decade, the enigmatic Jennifer M. Dodd, has accepted an offer with Automattic — the company founded by the guy who started WordPress. For those who know web development, you know that this is basically every WordPress developer's dream job, going to work for the company that launched the open source software that powers 16% of the internet. Basically, this is a really, REALLY big deal, and I could not be more proud or more excited for Jennifer.

Of course, I'm also sad as hell to be losing the most amazing developer I've ever worked with. I've made no secret of the fact that the Offbeat Empire's success is directly, completely tied to Jennifer's hard work. She and I started working together in 2002, when I needed help installing Movable Type on my server. When I was first thinking about offbeatbride.com in 2006, she's the one who insisted we build it on WordPress, then just emerging as a content management system. Her brain has been involved in everything that makes the Empire function — from the THIS! button to the Featured posts slider on the blogs' homepages to the map on the Vendors page to cobbling the current Offbeat Bride Tribe together from a dozen different tools. Basically, if I had an idea, she'd tell me if it was easy/feasy (easy and/or feasible) and we'd dive in together. (And somehow, she did all this while homeschooling four children. WTF?!)

Truly, this is the end of an era.

THAT SAID! It's not all tears and wringing of organic hemp hankies. New old hairIn a stroke of amazing luck, we've found a new developer. Kellbot has already been a contributing Offbeat Empire community member, and she's spent the past few weeks building the blogs' new templates from the ground up. Jennifer has been training her non-stop, like an old guru sitting in a little cave at the top of a snowy mountain.

Kellbot has way WAY exceeded expectations, and I've gone from being teary and terrified about Jennifer's departure to being teary but excited. It's being unexpectedly awesome to have a fresh pair of dev eyes around… Jennifer and I set up the Empire's back-end in 2007 and a lot has changed since then. Kellbot is asking questions that sometimes have the answer, "Uh, cuz that's a decision we made 6 years ago and never reconsidered?" It's kind of amazing.

Anyway, so join me in wishing our beloved Jennifer well as she prepares to head off to her amazing, dream-fulfilling new job. Her final project for the Offbeat Empire will be Offbeat Home & Life's much-anticipated forum, so she's giving y'all a great farewell gift before she goes. πŸ™‚

  1. Congratulations JMDodd!!! It was great to see a bit of your work on the Tribe's back-end [Ariel, insert your choice of joke here] over the last couple months I've had as an OBT mod. You're an amazing woman.

    And welcome Kellbot! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us.

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  2. Congrats and good luck, JM Dodd β€” you will be missed. (And yay! forum!).

    Welcome Kellbot! You rock!

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  3. Welcome Kellbot!

    And on a side note, I didn't know you were at Geek Girl Con (in Seattle?). Are you going to be there again this year?

    • Nope. We had a great time at the first Geek Girl Con in 2011, but are focusing our time on other events this year. πŸ™‚

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      • I'm def. going to try to make the next event yall do! That last time was soooo funnnnnnnn <3 πŸ™‚ Still sad i missed the pre-party! πŸ˜›

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  4. that is FANTASTIC! i see the happy and sad for it all! <3 πŸ™‚
    and welcome to the new relationships. <3

    all the best.

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